This could anger a lot of folks on the left, but I think it’s an incredibly dangerous precedent to prosecute folks for following orders.
WASHINGTON -Attorney General Eric Holder says the government won’t prosecute CIA officials for using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics on terror suspects.
The decision comes as the Obama administration releases four long-secret legal memos from the Bush administration authorizing a dozen harsh interrogation techniques against high-value terror suspects.
Holder said in a statement Thursday it would be unfair to prosecute CIA employees for following the legal advice given at the time. And he says the government will defend any CIA employee in any court action brought in the U.S. or overseas.
And concerning the memos, no information will be redacted except the names of the CIA interrogators. Which makes sense if you want transparency, but want to protect the soldiers who carried out the Bush’s administration’s orders.
Now, for folks who know the left-wing commentator Glenn Greenwald, you might anticipate quite a backlash from him for this move.
One can certainly criticize Obama for vowing that no CIA officials will be prosecuted if they followed DOJ memos (though that vow, notably, does not extend to Bush officials), but — assuming the reports about redactions are correct — there is no grounds for criticizing Obama here and substantial grounds for praising him.
If you want to read the memos, you can find them here. But here’s potentially the most damning passage…
If you don’t think the people who developed these tactics knew what they were doing would be considered torture, well, now you do.